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Ark II

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CBS (ended 1977)

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CaptainMidnight

User Score: 320

6.4
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes
3

SHOW REVIEWS
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Ark II

Show Summary

Made in the 1970s when ecology was ascendant, Ark II posited a world where mankind's environmental carelessness had caused the collapse of civilization by the 25th century. A few scientists remained, though, and they've created the Ark to be the envoy of science and progress to scattered communities that have regressed to primitive agrarian conditions. It cruised a desolate, desert-like wasteland, where pockets of humanity survived in isolated oases. Manning the Ark was a crew of four. Jonah was the captain of the Ark and normally the driver. Young scientists Ruth and Samuel provided support. Finally, there was Adam, a talking chimpanzee with intelligence on a par with some humans. Aside from a utility laser, the Ark crew, as part of their pacifist beliefs, carried no weapons. As a last resort, they carried blinding dazzler devices to temporarily disable attackers. The crew never used violence, not even striking others. A long vehicle the size of a tractor-trailer, the Ark was packed with scientific equipment. A second, smaller vehicle, the Roamer, was used for side missions. The Ark also carried the Jet Jumper, a jetpack that Jonah would use for aerial scouting. Whenever they had to leave the Ark unattended, a forcefield could be used to secure the vehicle from intruders. Like many other children's shows of the era, Ark II always left its young viewers with a clear moral at the end of each episode. It was produced by Filmation, one of the leaders of Saturday morning children's programming in the 1970s. Opening narration: For millions of years the Earth was fertile and rich. Then pollution and waste began to take their toll. Civilization fell into ruin. This is the world of the 25th Century. Only a handful of scientists remain. Men, who have vowed to rebuild what has been destroyed... This is their achievement: Ark II, a mobile storehouse of scientific knowledge, manned by a highly-trained crew of young people. Their mission: to bring the hope of a new future to mankind. Ark II log, entry #1: I, Jonah, Ruth, Samuel and Adam are fully aware of the dangers we face as we venture into unknown, maybe even hostile areas. But, we're determined to bring the promise of a new civilization to our people and our planet.moreless
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Jean Marie Hon as Ruth...and the rest

    9.9
    I remember watching every week that I was able to when this show was originally aired, all those weeks ago. Now I find myself the proud owner of the entire series on dvd, so that I can relive those glorious days of eco heroism.. like captain planet would do later in an animated way, with the help of his planeteers... and long before a certain former vice-president jumped on the eco bandwagon, and snagged critical appeal for his filmwork. Now I can watch whenever I choose my favorite episode of all the ark II episodes, the one with Jonathan Harris playing fagin to a group of new world children, riding around in a buckboard wagon.. True science fiction, and an incredible show that taught lessons concerning our shared planet without getting preachy about itmoreless
  • Pollution and wastefulness have taken their toll upon humanity and caused civilization to collapse into a new dark age. Can mankind be saved?

    7.5
    Although almost every science fiction show has legions of little fans, most sci-fi isn't produced with children in mind; Ark II was. Made for Saturday morning TV, the 30 minute live action program featured specially created vehicles and a vision that was unlike most other Saturday morning fare, then or now.



    The stories themselves are not great drama, but most kids today could still watch and enjoy them. The characters included a father figure, a teenage girl, a pre-teen boy and also a chimpanzee. Together, they traveled the wastelands between isolated pockets of human habitation and helped to better the lives of the surviving people they met.



    Although the scripts were written with children in mind the level of technology the show uses seems more fit for prime time. The real treat of Ark II was the "Ark" itself, a specially constructed vehicle built on a dump truck chassis so unusual it even garnered a spread in Popular Mechanics. The Ark also carried a small "rover" (pretty obviously a VW based dunebuggy) and a jet pack.



    Overall this show was good and even though only a few were made, (15 episodes) it had a fairly long life in re-runs. Clearly a product of the 1970s, Ark II was in tune with the social and environmental movements of the time. Today, this show would be quite topical.moreless
  • The show definitely is dated, but keeps it's nostalgic appeal.

    6.0
    I watched this show on Saturday mornings as a kid and remembered the show but not the name. It was produced by Filmation, a long defunct production company that specialized in Children’s programming. The show follows a group of scientists that travel around in a futuristic “RV” called the Ark, while trying to rebuild the environment and civilization after it obliterated by the effects of pollution and waste. I loved the show as a kid. But as an adult it interests me only for sentimental reasons. Each episode had good themes, but as with many of Filmation’s productions it was hampered by a low budget. The acting was adequate, but not always. Again as with many low budget shows, I’m sure they did the best with what was given them. Some of the hi-lights of the show was some of it’s guest stars...the late Jonathan Harris (Lost in Space), Malachi Throne (character actor for many years), Helen Hunt (Mad About You), Jim Backus (Gilligan’s Island and voice of Mr. Magoo), the late Robert Ridgely (long time character and voice actor), and Geoffrey Lewis (long, long time character actor).moreless
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